Berlin – a wiedersehen
One of the reasons why I was so keen to return to the Fatherland after so many years is that it was such a key part of my teens and twenties and has shaped me in so many ways.
The first couple of weekends I spent in Berlin and Brandenburg visiting my ex-boyfriend, Andreas, from my Berlin years (1994-1996) and his wife and son. It was a great opportunity to have a whistle stop tour of Berlin as Andreas knows it like the back of his hand and therefore we could cover a lot of ground quickly. I was able to take some ‘before and after’ photos of Berlin too. Probably in twenty years time I will be able to go back and do it all again! Berlin is constantly changing and unrecognisable in parts from my time there between 1994 and 1996. It still has its own unique character and two-fingers attitude to authority as evidenced in the recent Berlin Landestag election results where the anarchic ‘Pirates’ party has come in well over the 5% hurdle.
We went to visit the Max Liebermann House at the Greater Wannsee near the site of the Wannsee Konferenz. Max Liebermann was a German Jew and famous impressionist artist whose personal wealth allowed him an address at the prestigious Potsdamer Platz before the Nazis came to power (to which he famously said “Ich kann gar nicht so viel fressen, wie ich kotzen möchte” (“I cannot eat as much as I would like to vomit”) and to paint without any financial worries. He bought the plot at the Wannsee in 1909 and his family owned it until it was confiscated in 1940. Having been through various incarnations it has now been reclaimed from its last owners (a dive club) and been mostly restored to its former glory and is well worth a visit. (See photos of the gardens)
I visited all the sights which meant something to me including Charlottenburg where Andreas and I enjoyed some food and beer from the local brewery and then wandered around the usual haunts of Berlin-Mitte including the Bode Museum, the site of the old Palace of the Republic (GDR) where the castle is supposed to be restored to and the famous eerie Soviet War Memorial site at Treptower Park. (see before and after photos)